Should FCPS Serve Chocolate Milk in Elementary Schools?

Local parents weigh in the debate

Each week in Moms Talk, our local council of been-there-done-that moms debate issues, give advice and share solutions to common parenting dilemmas.  So grab a cup of coffee and settle in as we start the conversation today with a question about school cafeteria nutrition. 

Last Friday, the Fairfax County public school district announced that it would once again sell chocolate milk in elementary school cafeterias. At the beginning of the school year, the school system stopped selling chocolate milk  But now FCPS supplier Shenandoah's Pride Dairy has developed a new, low-fat chocolate milk option that meets the district’s request to eliminate high fructose corn syrup without adding extra sugar.

The school system’s decision to eliminate the milk had received mixed reactions from parents. Some argued that having any milk was better than nothing, but others said they were glad schools were taking cafeteria nutrition seriously. 

What do you think about the chocolate milk debate? How involved should schools be in promoting healthy nutrition choices for kids? How do you track your kid’s dietary choices?

Stephanie Fultz April 11, 2011 at 06:55 PM
I'm with Leigh in that drinking some milk is better than not drinking milk at all, but at the same time, it's hard to encourage the selling of a product that is clearly not the best choice for our children. I wonder if there is a way to compromise and only sell chocolate milk a few days a week instead of everyday. Then maybe it could be viewed as a treat or something special for the kids, versus an everyday staple in the lunchroom.
Mary Porter, CHC April 12, 2011 at 12:29 PM
Good article to day in the Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/chocolate-milk-stirs-controversy-in-schools/2011/04/07/AF6QB6MD_story.html?hpid=z3, that brings more insight to this issue. I was not aware that the chocolate milk served in FCPS is made with high fructose corn syrup (which, of course the Corn Refiners Association will try to convince you is no less harmful than real sugar - but that's another column). Apparently the new version will be made with sucrose which is table sugar. Less heinous, but still added sugar.
Naomi Nix April 12, 2011 at 07:02 PM
Hi Peter, that comment contained advertising which violates our terms of service.
Isle D Belle April 18, 2011 at 01:39 PM
Just like in all food choices made by FCPS, choices should be made after careful analysis of the available products. Chocolate milk is an excellent way of providing essential nutrients to children, provided that the milk comes from cows that don't get antibiotics or growth hormones and that the milk is lowfat or at least reduced fat. Consideration of the list of ingredients is important, there should be no artificial sweetener or HFCS. Chocolate milk can be one part of a healthful lunch. The other options on the menu would dictate how that meal balances out on appropriate nutrients.
E. Blackwell May 01, 2011 at 02:33 AM
Any kind of milk is better than no milk at all is a fine sentiment, except when you discover that the kids are buying the lunch and simply throwing away the unopened milk cartons. I went to the Thanksgiving lunch and roughly 7 out of 10 kids with milk never even opened the cartons and when asked, they said they didn't like the plain milk but they had to take it, since there was no other choice and they were buying lunch. So, chocolate milk is a good thing.


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